Bird Crafts for Grandkids

from Wildlife Promise

Grandkids visiting? Children of all ages are fascinated by birds, and winter is a great time to watch them or create a “bird restaurant” in your backyard or on your balcony. Our friends at Grandparents.com shared these “bird crafts” to try with your family.

For Toddlers and Preschoolers:

Cheerios Garlands

Materials:

  • Cheerios cereal (regular; use fruity for colorful pattern-making)
  • String (small enough to fit through Cheerios)
  • Plastic straw

Instructions:

  1. Cut a piece of string about two feet long.
  2. Tie one end tightly to the middle of the plastic straw (to keep the Cheerios from sliding off).
  3. Slide the Cheerios onto the string one at a time, pushing them down toward the straw as you go.
  4. When there are only about six inches of bare string remaining, untie the end from the straw.
  5. Hang your garland outside from a tree branch. You can tie the two ends together to make a loop, knot one end and tie the other to a branch to make a straight line, or tie both ends to the branch to make a swag (shown in photo).
  6. Watch the birds enjoy their new treat!

For Grade-Schoolers:

Soda Bottle Birdfeeder

Materials:

  • One-liter soda bottle and cap with label removed
  • Utility knife
  • Thin wooden dowel or straight stick, 8 inches long
  • Birdseed
  • Masking tape
  • String
  • Funnel

bird feeder

Instructions:

  1. Cut two holes the size of a quarter, four inches from the bottom of the soda bottle (an adult should do this or closely supervise). The holes should be directly across from each other.
  2. About a half inch below the holes, cut a small “X,” about 1/4-inch wide.
  3. Push the dowel or stick through the “X”s, from one side to the other. This forms a sturdy perch for the birds on both sides of the bottle.
  4. Completely cover each of the feeding holes with masking tape. This will prevent the birdseed from spilling out when you fill the bottle in the next step.
  5. Undo the cap and, using the funnel, pour birdseed into the soda bottle. Fill it all the way to the top. Replace the cap.
  6. Cut two pieces of string, each about 18 inches long. Tie both ends around the neck of the bottle, so that they are on opposites sides.
  7. Hang your birdfeeder from a sturdy tree branch. Take off the masking tape, and wait for the birds to discover their feast.

For Older Grandchildren:

Birds-of-my-yard Mobile

Materials:

  • 2 straight sticks or dowels, each about 18 inches long
  • Lightweight string
  • Bird photographs, computer prints, or drawings on heavyweight paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen

Instructions:

  1. Cross the two dowels or sticks so they form an “X.” Bind the point where they cross with string, going around and around each stick several times in all directions. Tie a knot so the sticks stay in place.
  2. Tie a piece of string, about two feet long, to each of the four ends of the sticks.
  3. Bring all four strands up to a single point, and adjust them so the “X” is balanced. Tie a knot in this spot.
  4. Hang the mobile someplace where it may move freely.
  5. Now, for the birds: Online or in a reference book, find pictures of the birds that you have seen in your yard. Either print the pictures on heavy paper, or make a drawing of them.
  6. Cut out the bird along its outline.
  7. On the back of the bird, write its name, the date you saw it, and any other information you want.
  8. Punch a small hole near the top edge of the bird, at a point where you think it will allow the bird to hang evenly.
  9. Cut a piece of string between 4 and 12 inches long. Thread the string through the hole, and make a knot on the other side so it is secure.
  10. Tie the other end of the string somewhere on your “X” mobile structure.
  11. Repeat steps 5 to 10 with different birds that you identify. Hang them at different lengths, and on different parts of the mobile, trying to keep the balance.
  12. See the birds you’ve identified spin and flutter in the breeze!

This article originally appeared on Grandparents.com.

Related Links:

  • More from National Wildlife Federation: Read “Bird-Feeding 101″ to learn more ways to welcome birds to your garden or backyard.
  • More from Grandparents.com: Another great way to see birds with your grandchildren is to take a hike together. Visit our Vacations section for fun getaways and travel tips, or check out our City Guides for hundreds of ideas for outdoor activities and animal fun in your area.

Post written by Emily Miranda